“I can’t run. I don’t do group fitness classes. I won’t lift weights.” Are these statements true for you? But why? Many times, the answer involves fear. Fear can take the form of many lines – such as “I’m afraid of my knees hurting.” Or “I’m afraid of looking silly because I can’t keep up with the class.” Or “I’m afraid that I’ll be doing it wrong.” How is fear limiting your workouts? How is fear limiting you in general? How to overcome fear? Fear is not simply an excuse. It is a real thing that can prevent us from doing things we want to do, or from dreaming and setting goals for things we might not even realize are possible for us.
If you find yourself saying things like “I can’t”, “I don’t” or “I’m not”, it’s important to really think about what you’re saying. Take a moment to consider how fear can impact your beliefs about yourself or things you’re doing. What if you took fear out of the equation? How would that change your beliefs and actions?
How to Move Forward
Take it one step at a time.
The most important thing to consider when thinking about how to overcome fear is to take overwhelm out of the equation. Pick one thing. Maybe it’s taking a Pilates class, or maybe it’s learning how to lift weights. Or maybe it’s taking an art class or speaking in front of people. It can be very helpful to find a trainer (or mentor) who believes in YOU and your ability to conquer your fear.
Chart your wins so that you can see that your progress is real.
Sure, you can set all the goals in the world, but measuring yourself against things you haven’t accomplished yet isn’t that helpful. Keep a list of your wins so that you can see your forward momentum.
Establish a plan that will move you forward.
Put a clear plan in place to reaching the one specific goal you set and be prepared to adjust this plan frequently, as success rarely moves in a straight line! There will be weeks when you hit all of your mile markers, and weeks where you won’t. Knowing that going off plan is actually part of the plan (and totally normal) can keep you from derailing!
Also, when you do hit a milestone, as mentioned in the previous step, acknowledge it! Chart it, note it – give yourself a high five. Breathe in the success of the moment, and then move onto the next action or stage in the plan.
How to Overcome Fear: Moving On and Moving Up
Continue to celebrate your successes and enjoy your new sense of empowerment through movement, no matter how small each baby step forward might be. Know that fear is normal, and never really goes away. However, when you recognize it and practice moving through the fear using the steps above, it becomes a lot less scary!
Reflect, recognize, plan and move through your fears for a strong and healthy body, mind and spirit!
Post written by Kristin Strom, FFC regional Pilates manager.